Universal Grammar Theory
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- See: Human Languages, Linguistics, Noam Chomsky, Grammar, Psychological Nativism, Poverty of The Stimulus.
- (Wikipedia, 2016) ⇒ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_grammar Retrieved:2016-9-13.
- Universal grammar (UG) is a theory in linguistics, usually credited to Noam Chomsky, proposing that the ability to learn grammar is hard-wired into the brain. It is sometimes known as "mental grammar", and stands opposed to other "grammars", e.g. prescriptive, descriptive and pedagogical. The theory suggests that linguistic ability becomes manifest without being taught (see the poverty of the stimulus argument), and that there are properties that all natural human languages share. It is a matter of observation and experimentation to determine precisely what abilities are innate and what properties are shared by all languages.
- QUOTE: ... A key flaw in Chomsky’s theories is that when applied to language learning, they stipulate that young children come equipped with the capacity to form sentences using abstract grammatical rules. ... young children initially speak with only concrete and simple grammatical constructions based on specific patterns of words ... These findings, along with theoretical linguistic work, led Chomsky and his followers to a wholesale revision of the notion of universal grammar during the 1980s. The new version of the theory, called principles and parameters, replaced a single universal grammar for all the world’s languages with a set of “universal” principles governing the structure of language. These principles manifested themselves differently in each language. An analogy might be that we are all born with a basic set of tastes (sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami) that interact with culture, history and geography to produce the present-day variations in world cuisine. The principles and parameters were a linguistic analogy to tastes. They interacted with culture (whether a child was learning Japanese or English) to produce today’s variation in languages as well as defined the set of human languages that were possible.